When You’re Absolutely, Positively, Adamant That You’re Right…


…you’re never going to want your wisdom to go away.  You’re probably going to want to share your genius for the ages.  After all, you’ll nailed it.

We’ve all heard the thoughts that once it’s on the Internet, it’s there forever.  Forever hasn’t arrived yet so we really can’t test that theory.  Are you willing to take that chance?

However, there’s one website that promises to make sure the grandkids of your grandkids of your grandkids of your grandkids will understand just how brilliant and insightful you were.

The site is called Mummify.

It’s an interesting concept.

Send them a URL or up to 100 URLs a month and they’ll create a permanent link for your content for you.  It really is intriguing and they do give an idea as to how it’s done and what to do if they go out of business.

I’ve got it bookmarked and if I’m ever absolutely, positively, adamant that I’m right about anything, I just might use it.  In the meantime, I’ll save my future generations the embarrassment of my thoughts from the year 2013.

p.s. I had to smile just a bit when I added Category tags to this point.  Education is one of my default categories.  I wonder how many educational theorists have considered using this service…

Refr.it


I had a great learning experience yesterday!

In my reading, I stumbled across this post from Educational Technology and Mobile Learning titled “7 GREAT BIBLIOGRAPHY AND CITATION TOOLS FOR STUDENTS“.  I thought that it would be worthy of sharing and so sent the link to Twitter.  From there, it would end up in my Diigo stream since I have Packratius looking for links.  Done!

Not so fast there linky boy.

Later on in the afternoon, I got a message from Refr.it.  It was simple and to the point…

 

Hmmm.  Was this spam?  Probably not.  How many spammers would take the time to design such a spiffy logo!  I checked out the actual Twitter account and was intrigued by the descriptor.  “Hi were new. We aim to help harvard reference haters. Please give us a go at our website. There is a video demoing it. Big Thanks #refr”  (I did send a message about the missing apostrophe)

Looks legit so I thought I’d check it out.  Here’s their video.

The system looks so easy to use.  Just paste a URL into their form and submit – no registration required.  I can do that.  Copy and paste the above URL generates the following.

 

With the reference for your bibliography being:

refritofficial, 2012. Refr it – Harvard referencing made easy. youtube.com. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=d7k68TQLk6A [Accessed 13th November 2012]

The next step was to determine just what “Harvard References” were.  The term was new to me – I was familiar with MLA, APA, Turabian and Chicago.  Checking the colourful language on the Refr.it timeline shows the “love” that people have for Harvard References so I can see that there would be a demand for a service like this.  I found a pretty comprehensive list of examples here.  I can see the source of the messages.

I guess the original list of seven could use an additional reference!

Playing with Cortex


 

It was an afternoon for software exploration.  A Chrome extension by the name of Cortex had caught my attention recently.  It’s motto is “Share Fast”.  I like to share – let me check it out.

The Cortexapp just takes a couple of seconds to download and install itself.  Using the application is very easy.  Just click and hold your mouse button for a second and up pops a wheel of some of your social services.

Slide your cursor to the pop-up box that appears next.  At this point, you’ll be able to type some text to give an explanation of what you’re sharing – usually, it’s just the title of the article.  Press enter and Cortex shortens the URL of the resource and posts it.  It’s as simple as that.

Now, of course, connections to your social services do need to be set up.  When you first install the application on your computer, you’ll be prompted to go to the various services and grant them posting rights to your account.  It’s necessary for all the services that you’ll be using.  Going around the dial, you can see Gmail, Instapaper, Tumblr, Posterous, Facebook, Twitter or All of the Above.

The application performs as promised and is quick and easy.  Currently, I use Shareaholic for this sort of thing.  In this iteration of Cortex, I see a gap in services.  Yes, I do like to share to Twitter, but for my own records, I’ll tuck it away into Diigo.  Or, I’ll use a reference to WordPress for a possible blog post.  As I scan up and down Shareaholic, I see a great deal of services that I know that others use.

I wonder if that’s the direction that Cortex will head.  A bigger selection of services would be nice.  If all that you’re doing those is a quick share to Twitter, Facebook, or any of the other supported services, give it a try.  It really works as quickly as promised.

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What I Learned Yesterday…


…and how I fixed it.

I was just about to go out and have a coffee with a friend.  I had the computer on and took a quick look at my mentions and noticed this.

Huh?

I clicked the link and sure enough, WordPress returned

Maybe there is something to do with this after all.

I clicked on the Archives link above and, sure enough, there was a gap where that post should be.  Now I’m starting to freak.  That was one of my more popular recent posts.  No problem, I thought, I’ll have a backup of it on a computer somewhere.

1)  I went looking – Qumana, LiveWriter, ScribeFire, WordPress for iPad, … no luck. I can’t remember what tool that I used to create the post.  Rats.

2)  In the process, I learned that the ScribeFire backup appears to be the index from the WordPress blog.

OK, now I’m starting to feel a little more than freaked – I’m on the verge of panic.  I don’t have a local backup and poking around on WordPress was fruitless.

3)  I know…I’ll try the Wayback Machine.

Crap.  If I wanted something from 2008, I would be in luck.

What to do?  What to do?  Then, I thought…what would Google do?  Heck, they’d cache it.

So, I take a guess at what the URL would have been (fortunately, the original Twitter message made reference to it).  So, I do a Google Search for the post.  As I wade my way through the results that a lot of others had retweeted and were similarly broken, I found a link that would have gone to the original site.  Hover over the chevrons to the right and a preview of the page pops up.    Bingo!

4)  There’s a link to the cached version.  I click on the link, Google provides a warning that this may not be perfect, but I know it is.  I never post anything until it’s written and proofread locally.

5)  I open a new tab in my browser, go back to the cached version of the post, highlight it, and copy it.  I flip to the new tab and paste the contents.  It’s like this never happened!  I figure that I should give thanks to Google for saving my bacon, post it, and let @stevestoneky know that it’s there.

If I hurry, I can still get into Windsor and have my coffee.

As I’m sitting in stalled traffic on Howard Avenue feeling pretty smug about what I’d done, I realize that I actually hadn’t solved the entire problem.  With the original post, some folks had favourited it and others had retweeted and services like Zite had made reference to the original URL.

How do I fix that?  It was posted on August 6.  It’s now August 17.

6)  It turns out that’s just a hiccup.  I don’t normally get up and blog at 5 in the morning but that’s when my posts appear.  There is a feature in WordPress that lets you schedule a post to appear at that time.  I’ve never tried to post to the past though!  With crossed fingers (and it’s difficult to type that way), I set the time and date.  In effect, I’m rolling back the clock.

And, it works.  I check the link in the Twitter message identifying the problem and sure enough, it links directly to the post.  I check the archives and it’s all in place.

I’m no longer freaking or panicking.  I’m happy that I restored the damage.  In the process, I learned a great deal as numbered throughout this post.  I hope that I never have to do this again.  I’m telling the story just in case it helps anyone else out who has the same thing happen to them.

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